Improving Employee Engagement – More Trends

This past week, as I have given presentations on Strengths Based Leadership, I continue to be struck by how the energy in a room expands as people get curious and talk about unleashing the full power of their Strengths. They feel the permission to talk about what they do best and how it ties to their passions. Seeking to increase their understanding of why they do what they do, they ask great questions. All too often, when they return to their daily work routine, no one continues the recognition of their contribution from their strengths, nor does anyone provide them the opportunity to explore how to maximize their Strengths in what they do.

For employee engagement to increase I believe leaders and managers need to commit to a deep understanding of Strengths — they cannot just be a ‘thing’ we do. Recognition and feedback through a Strengths lens can be so affirming and motivating to an employee.

I am curious about what you think people need to be more engaged. This week I offer you more of what others think about it.

This is part 4 in the 5-part series on Employee Engagement by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.

Focus on measuring engagement rather than on improving engagement fails to engage employees. Click To Tweet

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With only slight improvements in what is considered to be an important driver of business performance, the annual statistics on employee engagement have been released by the Gallup Organization. If so many organizations are focusing on Employee Engagement, why aren’t engagement levels across the world increasing?

According to Gallup, companies that focus on measuring engagement rather than on improving engagement often fail to make the necessary changes that will engage employees and meet their workplace needs.

In my last post, I began a review of trends to watch for in the so-called “Engagement Industry.” As companies seek to motivate the workforce, these are the next three trends reported by David Mizne, in his post, “7 Fascinating Employee Engagement Trends for 2016,” on 15five.com:

#4. More employee feedback more often.

In 2014, author David Mizne conducted an employee engagement study and found that the vast majority of employees who received little or no feedback were actively disengaged.

Engagement went up dramatically when employees received feedback about their weaknesses, and even more so when they received feedback about strengths.

Focusing on and leveraging an employee’s Strengths contribution routinely and exponentially provides opportunity for them to function in the A+ Zone.

#5. Work/Life Balance really is Work/Life Blend.

The Society for Human Resource Management found that the best companies are embracing flexibility. For many job functions there are no longer any good reasons to require people to come into the office every day, or for work to be done between the hours of 9am and 5pm. More companies will continue on this path as long as the numbers prove it’s working.

#6. People analytics will grow.

In his article, The Two Sides of Employee Engagement, published in Harvard Business Review, Sean Graber argues that it’s important to look at employees’ perceptions and behaviors and their impact on performance. Managers can then decide how to shift things to increase engagement. The author melds analytics with qualitative feedback by looking at aggregated data from surveys as well as self-reported behaviors.

Josh Bersin, in his article, The Geeks Arrive In HR: People Analytics Is Here, writes that the shift towards “big data in HR” began in 2011 and exploded rapidly. He predicts that people analytics will be its own department that will look at productivity, turnover, and the people-issues that drive customer retention and satisfaction.

Next week we’ll explore the seventh trend — using technology to improve engagement. Until then… where you work, what is your experience with what works and does not work to improve engagement?

I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

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